The death toll due to diarrhoea outbreak in six villages here has mounted to 14 after a four-year-old girl died of the disease today, an official said.
“The toll increased to 14 with the death of one Kavita, a resident of Bhadanwara village,” District Magistrate Arvind Mallappa Bangari said.
Following the outbreak on Sunday, the district administration has ordered the installation of five new hand-pumps in the affected villages and sealed ice-cream factories operating without permission.
Chief Medical Officer R K Nayyar said of the 34 water samples sent for testing to the Jal Nigam, 14 have been declared “unfit for use”.
“It appears that there is something wrong with the upper surface water. Hence, the orders for deep boring were issued,” the district magistrate said, adding hand-pumps discharging polluted water have been painted red.
He said notices have also been issued against four ice-cream factories operating and selling their products without permission.
Action was taken after a team of doctors from Lucknow attributed the deaths in Mat Tehsil to the consumption ‘chuski’ (ice candy) along with polluted water, Bangari said.
He claimed that no deaths were reported from government-run health centres and hospitals, and village pradhans have been asked to immediately admit people with symptoms of diarrhoea.
Nayyar said seven persons are being treated at the Naujheel and Mant community health centres, and 24 patients are admitted at different hospitals.
Doctors are camping at the affected villages, he said.
Meanwhile, there has been heavy exodus of labourers from brick-kilns in Surir village after the outbreak, district brick-kiln association chief Sanjeev Kumar Singh said.
“Over 250 labourers working in the kilns have left,” he said, claiming that about a thousand workers would leave within a week as owners do not want to risk an outbreak at their kiln sites.